One of my first portrait projects, called ”New Pioneers,” evolved from an Old Settlers Day, which was honoring the pioneers of the past. I started to wonder who, living today, would be celebrated as pioneers a hundred years from now. I was new to the Brookings community so I asked people who the “movers and shakers” in town were. In this way, I was able to identify and paint some amazing and interesting people who lived in my new home, all pioneers in their own right.
My second project was FACES OF BROOKINGS, a five-year effort of painting 100 portraits of the people of Brookings, which also evolved into a book which sells at the South Dakota Art Museum in Brookings. My goal was to democratize the portrait—to paint ordinary people in an affordable format, and thus allowing them original art on their walls. Original art changes us, and I believe it is important for all people to experience that. Sometimes owners even ask me to paint a portrait of their pet.